Salon des Refusés
I’ve just returned to this world after a much needed few hours of sleep. I was up for 32 hours straight starting sometime Monday morning, working on a bid proposal for a state park visitor center project that was due today. These bid proposals are really a ton of work, but the projects can be exciting to work on, and sometimes all the work is worth it. In this case, I had assembled a qualified team of subcontractors to handle some of the specialty aspects of the project… video production, thematic diorama construction, specialty fabrication, etc. I traveled to the job site a couple of times to take some detailed surveys, then spent many hours crafting a 3D solid model of the space on the computer and working up some conceptual design studies to go with the proposal. Then comes the writing of the proposal, the snapping to the obsessive formatting requirements, the completion of all the required forms plus days of writing the text. Of course, you don’t get paid to write proposals, so there’s your regular work that has to be done along the way.
So, eventually, along comes the deadline and I usually find myself cramming to get these things out the door. This one ran to 39 pages of text and pictures and I was still in the layout process the night before the deadline. I knew I needed to start printing, because my printer does a great job, but it’s miserably slow by 21st century standards. So I find myself up at 3 in the morning working away on this thing when the RAM chips in my computer decide to get cranky on me and the computer screen suddenly just goes black right in the middle of me trying to rewrite one of my subcontractors’ text submittals.
Poof. Out of business. …or so I thought as I struggled for the next couple of hours to get the system back online. Pulling the Ram chips out of the motherboard and washing the contacts with alcohol eventually did the trickand I was back in business by about 5AM with 236 pages left to print (six copies of a 39 page proposal)and several minor things, like a detailed schedule and budget, left to compose. Sometime after the sun came up the leg humpers started to call wanting me to buy new software or oil and gas leases or time shares at the beautiful Williamsburg Resorts. Oy Vey.
With the proposal due at 2PM downtown, I was still scrambling at 1:30 to get it out of the printer, bind it, box it and seal it. But I was out the door at a quarter to 2 with just a slight prayer of a chance of getting it downtown on time. After a blast down the highway like I haven’t had since high school and a sprint up Governor Street that had me wondering if I would have a coronary right there on the street, I was actually physically in the state office building just before the deadline. But there I sat on the ground level, waiting for an elevator that looked like it had been installed when I was ducking and covering in grade school.
Long and tedious story short, I got into the procurement office at two minutes past two. My bid was disqualified. It was just me and the procurement officer in the room. No witnesses. I sat in his office for ten more minutes waiting for him to take pity on me. No such luck. Turns out he was just an honest guy playing by the rules.
So, I thought I’d post my nifty watershed model here, since it ‘aint going up at the Shenandoah River State Park.